2016 December 27

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Allegheny National Forest
Beaver Pond (aka Page Pond) State Forest
Cole Hill State Forest
Delmar, New York
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center

December 2016
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Heading home time on our final Tuesday of 2016. Drive carefully and cautiously you’ll make it home in due time and it won’t be that long. Traffic actually ain’t too bad tonight as is to be expected with schools closed and people taking the week off. Pretty quiet day at work but a few things came up throughout the day. Still feeling a little under the weather but not really sick. I’m sure I just breathed in some mold scrubbing last night. Or maybe it was the cold air from camping or seeing family over the holidays. God only knows. 

No blooms for the Christmas Cactus which effectively makes it late. The buds are getting bigger and redder so it’s only a matter of time before it blooms. I got to make sure to bring my camera to work tomorrow so I can get pictures. I’m hopeful it’s in full bloom before I leave Friday for the New Years Eve weekend. 

Breezy but mild this evening. Around 38 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. There is a 16 mph breeze from the west-northwest. The skies will clear tomorrow around 5 pm.

Tonight will have a chance of snow showers, mainly after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 29 degrees at 6am.  While that sounds cold, we are in the last week of December and the history books tell us that’s 12 degrees above normal. West wind 9 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. In 2015, it got down to 22 degrees with periods of fog and rain and snow. The record low of -14 occurred back in 1951.

Waning Crescent Moon tonight with 6% illuminated. The moon will rise around 5:16 am. The New Moon is tomorrow night with snow expected. Enjoy the snow not the stars tomorrow. 

Tomorrow will have a chance of snow showers, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high of 38 degrees at 1pm. Six degrees above normal. West wind 7 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. A year ago, we had fog, rain, snow and a high of 36 degrees. The record high of 61 was set in 1982. 7 inches of snow fell back in 1967. Seems like we used to get a lot more snow back in the 1960s.

While New Years Day will be partly sunny clouds are expected to dominate through the long weekend. New Years Eve aka Saturday, mostly cloudy, with a high near 32. New Years Day will be partly sunny and 38. For the Monday we have off after the holiday, mostly cloudy and 37. Typical average high for the weekend is 32 degrees.

I might go hiking and camping up in the Adirondacks for the long weekend but we will see. Seems nice enough and I’d like to get away, more than just a local state forest. Of course lake effect may be an issue and I don’t want to drive on icy roads. 

In four weeks on January 24 the sun will be setting at 4:59 pm, which is 30 minutes later then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 29 and 9 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 31 and 14 degrees. The record high of 54 degrees was set back in 1999. It’s just cold during that time of year. 

Map: Beaver Pond State Forest

Map: Beaver Pond State Forest

Beaver Pond, formerly Page Pond, State Forest covers a total of 791 acres. It is named after a 17 acre pond that is partially situated in the state forest. Two tracts of land in the forest were acquired in 1940 and 1941. Two additional tracts were then acquired in 1981 and 1989. The most popular recreational activities on the forest are hunting and cross country skiing.

The forest shape is long and narrow, providing a distance from the northern border to the southern border of approximately 3 miles. The highest elevation on the forest is about 2,010 feet and can be found on two different peaks in the north section of the property. The lowest elevation is about 1350 feet and is found near the intersection of NYS Route 41 and Huggins Road. The forest has a mix of well-drained and poorly drained ground. The steepest slope on the forest is the north-facing slope adjacent to NYS Route 41. The forest cover is primarily a mix of native conifers and northern hardwoods. Only a few acres of this forest were ever planted with species such as red pine or Norway spruce. The largest block of conifer (hemlock) on the forest is located in the southern section of the forest, south of NYS route 41. The remainder of the forest is largely covered with hardwoods such as red oak, sugar maple, aspen, red maple, white ash., black cherry, and beech.

The mammals that are common residents of Beaver Pond State Forest include deer, raccoons, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, chipmunks, and opossum. Coyotes and foxes are also present. There is also a large variety of birds, including songbirds and hawks. Turkeys are also abundant on this forest, due to the high percentage of beech and oak trees that enhance their habitat

Beaver Pond State Forest is bordered by a mix of privately owned woodlands and agricultural lands. The Marsh Pond State Forest is also in close proximity. The closed section of Huggins Road is a good corridor for cross country skiing. Like the Marsh Pond State Forest, this forest is located in a rural landscape that is only sparsely populated. The nearest villages are Windsor and Deposit, which are each about 5 miles distant from the forest.